The Navy will carry out a new fleet structure assessment (FSA) that could adjust its target from its existing goal of a 355-ship fleet, senior leaders told the House Armed Services’ Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee this week. The new assessment follows the administration’s recent release of a series of strategy documents including the national defense strategy which came out in January. The FSA would review the mix of surface ships and submarines in the service and could change assumptions on the look and size of the future fleet, Vice Adm. Bill Merz, deputy chief of naval operations for warfare systems, told lawmakers.
The Obama administration issued an FSA in late 2016 which called for adding higher-end ships such as attack submarines, and guided-missile destroyers and cruisers to reach 355 ships. The Navy currently has 282 ships, reports U.S. Naval Institute News.
“We have done multiple studies on the architecture of the Navy and the size of the Navy. Every single one of them says we have to grow, and we have to grow in these fundamental types of ships,” Merz said Tuesday. “So we don’t expect much of that to change with the next FSA; maybe it changes on the margins, maybe another number we’re shooting for, but it’s going to be bigger than we are today, so we have to move out and we have to move out aggressively as we go forward,” he said.
Navy photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Lee